By now, you’ve no doubt heard of the Russian spy ring that was recently busted in the US, and you’ve also probably heard that they apparently weren’t very bright. The complaint filed in their case documents a litany of unprofessionalism and carelessness, from leaving written passwords out in the open to asking a federal agent posing as a fellow spy to troubleshoot a laptop without even bothering to check back with HQ to see if the “spy” was legit.
But as incompetent as these spies were, they were bright enough to at least partially outwit the large-scale e-mail snooping efforts of the NSA’s backbone taps and multibillion-dollar datacenters. How? By using steganography to encode secret text messages in image files, which they then placed on websites.